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GH’s Genie Francis Addresses Laura’s Controversial Storyline From the Past

Photo: ABC

During ABC’s Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association (TCA) in Pasadena, California, several of the stars of General Hospital along with head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor and series executive producer, Frank Valentini, took part in a panel discussion as part of the GH’s upcoming 60th anniversary milestone celebration.

Throughout the panel, the cast and creatives fielded questions from the press.  At one point, Genie Francis (Laura) was asked about GH’s representation of social issues over the decades, and about the controversial rape of Laura by Luke (Tony Geary) back in 1979.

Photo: ABC

As GH viewers know, Luke, who believed he was going to be killed by mobster Frank Smith, and had fallen for Laura, danced with with her at the Campus Disco to Herb Alpert’s Rise.  Luke, eventually forced himself on Laura and raped her.  However, later GH wrote the enduring love story of Luke and Laura, and the event was left murky in the storytelling including at one point having it called a “seduction”.

Francis addressed the issue head on telling reporters: “You mentioned the date-rape issue.  I had a feeling I was going to be asked about that.  You know, as a young kid at 17, I was told to play rape, and I played it.  I didn’t even know what it was.  But, at 17, you follow the rules, and you do as you are told, and you aim to please.  At 60, I don’t feel the need to defend that anymore, you know.  I think that the story was inappropriate, and I don’t condone it.  And it’s been a burden that I’ve had to carry to try to justify that story, and so I’m not doing that anymore.  I think, when a woman says ‘No,’ that she should be listened to, and if you replay that scene, you don’t have Laura just saying ‘No.’  You have her screaming ‘No.”

As to the current writing and portrayal of Laura Collins, the Daytime Emmy-winning TV icon shared: “I feel very, very fortunate to have this new reinvented Laura.  I love who she is in the present day.  She was such a victim as a young woman, and to see it flip around and have her be fully empowered, this powerful woman who is the mayor of the town.  She doesn’t take crap from anyone.  She’s a strong woman.  She’s a good role model for other women.  But I love my Laura today.  I loved my Laura then too, but this is where it needed to go.”

What do you think about Genie’s response to the long-standing controversial rape storyline? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Well Genie I agree we are still doing it Y&R writing a love story between rapist Chelsea and Her victim Billy. The worst part is Jason Thompson trying to defend it. But Y&R stinks so bad no way that show recovering NONE.

Kay
That was so long ago, I don’t know if we actually saw that happen, but Billy had to have participated or no Johnny.
Remembering many years ago Tricia Dennison, a real loony tunes drugged Victor with Roofies and Viagra and raped him and she set it up claiming he raped and assaulted her, but with the Newman luck he got himself cleared but that was a good story, I wonder how many fans remember that SL?

DOOL did it with Sami/EJ and turned them into a supercouple, a la Luke/Laura. It was disgusting. EJ raped her, and she fell in love with him. WTH? Outside of that relationship, I actually do like EJ. The whole EJ/Abby affair when James Scott and Kate Mansa were playing the roles was so soapy and hot. What a missed opportunity not letting it really go anywhere. It’s just the EJ/Sami relationship that is problematic. He RAPED her. That shouldn’t have been glorified or romanticized and turned into a supercouple, just because they were both attractive. I will never forgive DOOL for having Sami fall in love with her rapist. It’s like soaps haven’t learned ANYTHING since Luke/Laura. I am SO glad Genie is speaking out.

Amen Genie Francis.

Is there video of this panel anywhere?

I loved Genie’s answer about the rape. It’s disgusting that a 17 year old was made to play a rape scene by the people running the show at the time. I’m not even sure how something like that was allowed to happen. Thank god we’ve evolved as a people since then.

I bet Genie is beyond tired of having to answer questions about this after all these years. It’s like that moment is the only thing that has ever happened to her character in 43 years. Hopefully everyone can move on.

And bravissima to Genie for being unwilling to play along, any longer, with the rewrite. I saw the original scene, and I remember it exactly as Genie does–and yet over the years I’ve begun to feel gaslighted because of the insistence that I didn’t see what I know I saw. I really appreciate Genie’s validation of that.

And like her, I’m really pleased at who Laura has become. And grateful–because whenever they give her the material, GF really delivers. She is a force of nature. I’m sure she always was, but as she sort of said, most of her early storylines were about Laura as victim. This version is a lot more interesting.

As for why she was made to play that scene four decades ago–well, Gloria Monty. I remember Marland said in an interview that he had objected (strenuously) to the storyline, and that’s part of the reason he was fired. Monty really wanted it, so that’s the story that was written–but somebody above her should have put a stop to it. The whole incident does speak volumes about attitudes toward rape and how they’ve changed since 1979. I can’t recall a single soul, at the time, expressing any reservations at all about ABC’s having foisted a rape storyline on a 17-year-old actress. (Maybe the reservations were there, but they were never aired publicly, if so.) Other reservations were expressed, but they were very muted, because the ratings continued to go up. I do remind myself, when I think about it, that in 1979, spousal rape had only been a thing for a few years (I don’t remember exactly when the marital rape laws were enacted, but it hadn’t been that long before), so it’s not surprising in that context that there could still be questions about whether rape was rape. Still, an appalling episode in our country’s warped history regarding sex and power, and I think the fact that we still have to talk about it NOW speaks volumes about all the things we should have said about it, as a cultural phenomenon, in 1979 (and since) and didn’t. (And I’ll just add, from roughly the same age perspective as Genie’s–I was 19 when the rape scenes aired and am 62 now–I’m utterly aghast, in retrospect, at what an appalling, confusing message the whole thing sent to the young men and women of the time. Ugh.)

Michael (not Fairman)…some like you may remember, but another example of an over-the-top sex scene was between Carly and Sonny when they first got together. Not needed either, or conveniently forgotten.

Thanks for the reply and the context, Michael (not Fairman). You go back much longer than me as a viewer, so I appreciate the insight!

I remember seeing the rape scene for the first time years later, and just how dirty and disgusting it made me feel. The disco lights flashing, Herb Alpert’s song “Rise” playing in the background, the way Laura screamed “NO!” Just hideous, hideous stuff.

I’ve always heard such good things about Gloria Monty as an executive producer and about how she saved the show. But to know that she was the one responsible for pushing that storyline, it honestly makes me think a lot less of her as a person. As well as the powers that be at ABC at the time for allowing it to happen.

I watched G H until that scene then stopped. I agree with Gene’s statement. Todays climate would not allow that scene to be shot. Our judgment was different back then. I admire her as a women and Actor.

How many prople remember that prior to the rape 16 year old Laura was seduced by her stepfathers 40 + year old best friend and that she later murdered him when she found out he only slept with her to get revenge on her stepfather. Laura was in therapy for the murder when she was raped by Luke another age inappropriate male. Very toxic time with storylines that would never play out today. Imagine teenage Genie Francis in high school having to play these scenes. I recall the late John Berandino the patriarch of the show as one of the few denouncing the Luke and Laura rape storyline at the time but he was sort of run over by the Luke and Laura hype.

As I recall, GH revisited that story line in recent years and actually showed Luke and Laura having an adult discussion about it and Luke admitting he was wrong and had raped her.

I remember the storyline and even then as a young man questioned the reformed rapist turn, a trope still employed. I applaud redemption in characters but this approach still bothers me. The lens of today really puts it a more negative light. I am thrilled Ms Francis and Laura Collins remain on canvas I meaningful ways. I always wanted Laura to be forefront, a pillar. The series has shifted with so many new characters, what legacy we have needs to be cherished.

It was the storyline that made me decide not to watch GH until GL, ATWT and OLTL were taken off the air. I thought the Luke and Laura hype was not warranted. I was a Laura and Scotty fan. I still am. The Christmas 2022 scenes between them and Eliabeth showed such history between the two characters and actors too.

Breaking News

51st Annual Daytime Emmy Award Nominations: CBS Soaps Score Most, Eric Braeden, Dick Van Dyke, Guy Pearce Receive Nods

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) have officially announced on Friday, the full list of nominees for the 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

While Thursday brought with it four reveals of the nominees in the Outstanding Daytime Drama, Talk Show Host, Lead Actor and Actress categories (as presented by various entertainment news programs), today’s nominations include all the other categories not previously announced.

The Daytime Emmy Awards telecast is set to be presented live on Friday night, June 7, at 8 PM EDT /delayed PT, on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. This will mark the 18th time that CBS has broadcast the Daytime Emmys.

Photo: JPI

In addition, The Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy Awards will be presented on Saturday, June 8 at t9 PM ET/6 PM PT and streamed on The Emmys apps and at watch.TheEmmys.tv. The ceremonies will take place at the Westin Bonaventure Los Angeles.

Television icon, Dick Van Dyke has received his first-ever Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Guest Performer category for his touching portrayal of Timothy Robicheaux on Peacock’s Days of our Lives. The nomination makes Van Dyke the oldest Daytime Emmy nominee in history at 98-years-old.  In addition, motion picture and TV star, Guy Pearce, is also nominated as Guest Performer for his longtime role as Mike Young in the reboot of Neighbours.

Speaking of Neighbours, the Australian soap opera also received its first ever Daytime Emmy nomination for Daytime Drama Series now that its a revival can be streamed on Amazon Freevee. In addition, The Young and the Restless iconic, Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) received his first Daytime Emmy nomination in more than 20 years in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category.

Photo: AmazonFreevee

In the Daytime Drama series categories, CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless each scored 12 nominations more than any other show. Leading the acting nominations was B&B, who landed 7 performers in the various categories, a first in its 37-year history.

In a statement, Adam Sharp, President & CEO, NATAS expressed, “We are happy to once again honor the creative talent both in front of and behind the camera of America’s favorite Daytime programs. We look forward to celebrating the icons who enliven the days of audiences across the country.”

Photo: JPI

Brent Stanton, Head of Daytime, NATAS added, “Producing the Daytime Emmys is a labor of love for all of us at NATAS. The huge popularity of these shows continues to be must-see viewing for their fans.” NATAS also revealed that Lifetime Achievement Honorees, Hosts, Presenters, and Silver and Gold Circle honorees will be revealed at a later date.

The Daytime Emmy Awards recognize outstanding achievement in television programming honoring work in a variety of categories, including daytime dramas, talk shows, instructional programming, hosting, culinary, and legal/courtroom programs. In 2021, NATAS and the Television Academy jointly announced plans to realign the Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards to be organized by content genre, as opposed to program airtime.

The 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be produced once again by NATAS and Associated Television International (ATI). Adam Sharp and Lisa Armstrong are executive producers from NATAS, while David McKenzie executive produces from ATI.

Congratulations to all the men and women in front of the camera and behind the scenes for their recognition as we take a look at who will be going for gold come June. Here are the nominees below starting with the Daytime Drama Categories.

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES

The Bay

The Bold and the Beautiful

Days of our Lives

General Hospital

Neighbours

The Young and the Restless

OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES: ACTRESS

Tamara Braun, Days of our Lives

Finola Hughes, General Hospital

Katherine Kelly Lang, The Bold and the Beautiful

Annika Noelle, The Bold and the Beautiful

Michelle Stafford,  The Young and the Restless

Cynthia Watros, General Hospital

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING LEAD PERFORMANCE IN A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES: ACTOR

Eric Braeden, The Young and the Restless

Scott Clifton, The Bold and the Beautiful

Thorsten Kaye, The Bold and the Beautiful

Eric Martsolf, Days of our Lives

John McCook, The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES: ACTRESS

Jennifer Gareis, The Bold and the Beautiful

Linsey Godfrey, Days of our Lives

Courtney Hope, The Young and the Restless

Allison Lanier, The Young and the Restless

Emily O’Brien, Days of our Lives

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE IN A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES: ACTOR

Robert Gossett, General Hospital

Bryton James, The Young and the Restless

Wally Kurth, Days of our Lives

A Martinez, The Bay

Mike Manning, The Bay

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING GUEST PERFORMANCE IN A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES

Linden Ashby, The Young and the Restless

Ashley Jones, The Bold and the Beautiful

Alley Mills, General Hospital

Guy Pearce, Neighbours

Dick Van Dyke, Days of our Lives

OUTSTANDING WRITING TEAM FOR A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES

The Bay

The Bold and the Beautiful

Days of our Lives

General Hospital

The Young and the Restless

Photo: JPI

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING TEAM FOR A DAYTIME DRAMA SERIES

The Bay

The Bold and the Beautiful

Days of our Lives

General Hospital

The Young and the Restless

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DIRECTION

General Hospital

The Jennifer Hudson Show

The Kelly Clarkson Show

The View

Photo: ABC

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL DIRECTION, CAMERAWORK, VIDEO

The Bold and the Beautiful

Days of our Lives

Disney Parks Magical Christmas Day Parade

The Kelly Clarkson Show

OUTSTANDING CASTING

African Queens: Njinga

Days of our Lives

General Hospital

Start Up

The Young and the Restless

OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION/SCENIC DESIGN

African Queens: Njinga

The Drew Barrymore Show

General Hospital

The Kelly Clarkson Show

The View

The Young and the Restless

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN/STYLING

African Queens: Njinga

The Bold and the Beautiful

The Jennifer Hudson Show

Sherri

Photo: WarnerBros

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING AND MAKEUP

African Queens: Njinga

The Drew Barrymore Show

Sherri

The View

The Young and the Restless

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG

“Shine” General Hospital

“Unexpected Truth”Unexpected

“We’re Home” Reconnecting Roots

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME TALK SERIES

The Jennifer Hudson Show

The Kelly Clarkson Show

Tamron Hall

Turning The Tables with Robin Roberts

The View

Photo: ABC

OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS SERIES

Access Hollywood

Entertainment Tonight

Extra

OUTSTANDING CULINARY SERIES

Be My Guest with Ina Garten

Family Dinner

Selena + Chef: Home for the Holidays

Valerie’s Home Cooking

What Am I Eating? with Zooey Deschanel

OUTSTANDING LEGAL/COURTROOM PROGRAM

Hot Bench

Judy Justice

Justice For The People with Judge Milian

The People’s Court

We The People with Judge Lauren Lake

Photo: Disney/ABC

DAYTIME TALK SERIES HOST

Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Alyssa Farah Griffin, Sara Haines, Sunny Hostin, Ana Navarro, The View

Kelly Clarkson, The Kelly Clarkson Show

Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa, Live with Kelly and Mark

Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell, Sheryl Underwood, The Talk

Tamron Hall, Tamron Hall

OUTSTANDING CULINARY HOST

Lidia Bastianich, 25 Years with Lidia: A Culinary Jubilee

Valerie Bertinelli, Valerie’s Home Cooking

Eduardo Garcia, Big Sky Kitchen with Eduardo Garcia

Emeril Lagasse, Emeril Cooks

Sophia Roe, Counter Space

Buddy Valastro, Legends of the Fork

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME PERSONALITY – DAILY

Frank Caprio, Caught in Providence

Kevin Frazier, Nischelle Turner , Matt Cohen, Cassie DiLaura, Denny Directo, Will Marfuggi, Rachel Smith, Entertainment Tonight

Deborah Norville, Steven Fabian, Lisa Guerrero, Ann Mercogliano, Jim Moret, Les Trent. Inside Edition

Robert Hernandez, Star Jones, Divorce Court

Judge Judy Sheindlin, Whitney Kumar, Kevin Rasco, Sarah Rose, Judy Justice

What do you think about the nominations for the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards? Who do you think deserved to get in that did? Who do you think got snubbed? Who are you happiest to see receive a nomination? Let us know via the comment section below.

Make sure to be with us live starting tonight Friday, April 19th at 8pm ET/5pm PT for the Michael Fairman Channel’s 10th anniversary edition of its Daytime Emmy Nomination Special 2024, featuring some of the just announced daytime drama nominees. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breaking News

51st Daytime Emmys: Outstanding Daytime Drama Series Nominations

On Thursday, the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards revealed nominations in several key categories via four entertainment news programs: Access Hollywood, E! News, Extra and Access Hollywood.

Three of the four announcements were major categories in the field of Daytime Dramas.

The nominees in the Outstanding Daytime Drama Series category are: The Bay, The Bold and the Beautiful, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, Neighbours and The Young and the Restless.

Photo: JPI

General Hospital won this category last year, and has the most all-time wins for a series in this category. For the first time, the beloved Australian-based soap opera, Neighbours is now eligible for competition due to its reboot which streams on Amazon Freevee.

Photo: AmazonFreevee

The 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be handed out in ceremonies in Los Angeles and broadcast live on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 7th.

Previous categories announced tonight via the entertainment news outlet included: Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

So, what do you think about this year’s nominee for the Outstanding Daytime Drama Series? Who do you think should win? Comment below.

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Breaking News

51st Daytime Emmys: Tamara Braun, Finola Hughes, Katherine Kelly Lang, Annika Noelle, Michelle Stafford, Cynthia Watros Score Lead Actress Nominations

The nominations were revealed for the 51st annual Daytime Emmys. in the prestigious Lead Actress in a Drama Series category by Entertainment Tonight.

This comes ahead of tomorrow’s full list that is set to be unveiled at 12noon/9am PST on Friday.

In the running for this year’s Outstanding Lead Actress are Tamara Braun (Ava, Days of our Lives), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, The Bold and the Beautiful), Annika Noelle (Hope, The Bold and the Beautiful), Finola Hughes (Anna, General Hospital), Cynthia Watros (Nina, General Hospital) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, The Young and the Restless).

Photo: Getty

Previous winners in this category include GH’s Finola Hughes, Cynthia Watros and Y&R’s Michelle Stafford.  Days of our Lives nominee had won in the Supporting Actress category twice in her career.

Earlier, the Lead Actor nominees were revealed and you can find them here.

Make sure to be with us Friday night, April 19th for the Michael Fairman Channel’s 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special beginning at 5 pm PT where we chat live with some of this year’s nominees.

So, what do you think about this year’s Lead Actress nominees? Comment below.

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